November 30, 2003

Libations, Libations, a Lighthouse, a Concrete Ship, and More Libations.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:05 pm

It was quite a road trip. It was a blur of Apple Knockers, vodka (lots of vodka), beer, wine, champagne, and too much to eat. We took a few drinking breaks to visit a craft fair and the “quaint” shopping area in Cape May, the kinds of places where one spends lots of money on doo-dads that always seem like a good idea at the time.

Because this was the first trip to Cape May for a couple of the Usual Suspects, we took a ride out to the Cape May Lighthouse to make sure it is still there. Of course, it was still there, as it has been since its construction in 1859. No one was up to climbing the 218 steps to get to the top of the 157-foot tall structure. Of course, this had nothing to do with all the cocktails we had consumed. I figure it must must have been bad ice.

We also went to Sunset Beach to take a look at the remains of the S.S. Atlantus, one of the 12 experimental concrete ships build during World War I, due to a steel shortage. After a few trans-Atlantic voyages, the Atlantus was taken out of service, and it foundered while it was being brought to New Jersey to serve as part of a dock for a ferryboat between Delaware and New Jersey. Oddly enough, during World War II, the government built another 24 concrete ships, again because of a steel shortage. Concrete ships. Go figure.

We took a walk on the beach by the Lighthouse. However, it was a very short walk, because on Saturday, Cape May was hit with some seriously high winds, which churned up the ocean into a boiling mass, and sandblasted everyone who ventured near the beach. After a couple minutes of sandblasting, it was clear that a warm spot and more cocktails was a much better idea.

I am now in the process of detoxifying and trying to remain perpendicular to the center of the earth.

I think I’ll have another glass of seltzer and head for the recliner.

November 28, 2003

A Bit of R&R.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:12 am

We are taking a drinking road trip mini-vacation with some of the Usual Suspects. We are heading down to the zero mile marker on the Garden State Parkway to this place. While there, we will surely get half zippered spend a bit of time at this place, quaffing sipping Apple Knockers (hot apple cider with Laird’s Apple Jack, a cinnamon stick and spices) and pigging out on pub grup sampling the cuisine.

See you Sunday night.

November 27, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:24 am


By the way, If you are not overly stuffed, and you are looking for some good after dinner reading today, check out the Carnival of the Vanities, which is up and running over at Setting the World to Rights.

November 26, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:04 pm

As of midnight tonight, I will have been at this for one year. In my first post, I tentatively thanked Cousin Jack for suggesting that I give blogging a try. I now happily un-tentatively thank him again for his inspiration, his willingness to help with things technical and otherwise, and for being a great relative and friend.

When I began this almost-daily exercise, I thought that, in addition to Jack (who graciously promised to be reader), I would have maybe a handful of others who would read my scribblings , including daughter TJ, who is hardly unbiased. As of this moment, this site has been visited just short of 37,000 times. Never, in my wildest imagination, did I expect that such a thing would happen. I would like to thank each and every person who has found this site to be worth a couple minutes of his or her valuable time. I am truly grateful and humbled – big time.

I would also like to thank all those who maintain a blog, particularly those who appear on the left side of this page. You have made me laugh. You have moved me. You have made me think. You have entertained me for countless hours, and you have always impressed me (and often made me green with envy) with your breadth of knowledge, your razor sharp sense of humor and your wonderful ability to turn a phrase. Thank you all.

A very, very special thanks to those of you with whom I have communicated one on one. You know who you are. I’ve actually made some friends around here, and what could be better than that?

It has been quite an experience.

I look forward to year number two.

Again, thanks.

High Tech Peeping Toms.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:22 am

It’s not bad enough that we have to deal with cell phone vulgarians, who have some sick compulsion to blab on the cell phone in public places and pollute the atmosphere with their half of an obviously inane conversation. Now, with the commercialization of camera-cell phones (some 25 million were shipped worldwide in the first half of this year), we have a brand new problem

It seems that there are some truly sick sorry asses out there who are bound to use their camera cell phones to take surreptitious photos of people while they are undressed in places such as locker rooms and bathrooms. What’s even more alarming is that images of the unsuspecting victims can easily be transferred to the internet for all the world to see.

Recently in New Jersey it became painfully apparent that the state’s current Peeping Tom law does not effectively prohibit such conduct. Last July, a New Jersey appeals court overturned the conviction of a man who had hidden a video camera in a floral arrangement in his bathroom in order to photograph his female houseguests, without their knowledge, while they undressed and showered (obviously a swell guy).

The court ruled that, under the existing law, a defendant can only be convicted if he “peers into a window or other opening.” Because the camera-in-the-bathroom-guy had not that, his conviction was overturned.

Because of this ruling and because it is difficult to know whether a person using a cell phone might actually be taking a photograph, many health clubs have banned the use of cell phones in locker rooms.

The state judiciary committee is working on legislation to replace the existing Peeping Tom law. The revised law would prohibit the surreptitious viewing or videotaping “someone in a bathroom, bedroom, dressing room, or other private place where people undress or engage in intimate activity.”

Furthermore, because camera cell phones have the potential to be used to commit industrial espionage, one firm is working on a high tech solution to the problem. The company is developing a transmitter that would block the camera function of camera cell phones until the user is off the premises.

So, one of these days, if you find yourself in a bathroom or locker room with a cell phone vulgarian who is fouling the air with his high-decibel personal prattle, that may not be all he is doing. He may be also be taking your picture with an eye towards making you “famous” on Because such conduct is not a crime (at least for now), self-help might be the best way to go. Therefore, if, while in your birthday suit, you catch someone shooting your picture with what looks like a cell phone, I suggest that you see to it that the last photo the camera takes is a glorious color picture of the inside of the asshole’s asshole.

November 24, 2003

Yeah, It’s One of those Nights.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:56 pm

OK, here is the deal. I am suffering from a huge case of occupationally induced brain-fry. Accordingly, I am absolutely incapable of writing anything worth reading. I’m even too beat to read other people’s stuff, a sure sign of mental fartdom.

With that said, I would not want to completely disappoint those who were kind enough to visit here. So, I urge you to spend a few minutes moving Liquid Man all over your screen. It actually works well to relieve some of the discomfort of occupational brain-fry.

Again, thanks to my friend Brian, the Air Force vet, on whom I can rely to bail me out when I cannot write anything worth a shit.

I Wish I Had Written This.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:22 am

“Understanding Ghandi will have zero effect on the current war on terror. I can’t remember where I read or heard this, but someone once said that if Ghandi had been Jewish, we would have never heard of him. Ghandi’s passive resistance was a testament to British morality, not to peace as a weapon because Hitler never would have stopped to listen.”

Sarah from Trying to Grok wrote it and more in an excellent post. Go read.

November 23, 2003

Annoying People Department.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:37 pm

This shrieking moonbat “journalist” makes my hair stand on end. The Clintons have never told a lie that she didn’t buy.

This punk is about as funny as a car accident and is about dumb as a box of rocks.

This unkempt, unwashed, walking unmade bed is, of course, the KING of annoying.

Thank you. I feel better now.

November 22, 2003

I Heard it on the Radio.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 4:57 pm

We were stoked. It was a beautiful, clear autumn day, and we had both brought notes into school the day before asking that we be excused by 11:00 a.m. on Friday. I was seventeen, and the ink on my brand-new driver’s license was still wet. My friend Greg [not his real name] and I would shortly be on our way to Atlantic City, courtesy of his dad and step-mom, who had arrived there the day before for some sort of convention. I had the family ’61 Bel-Air (I assume now that my dad must have taken Friday off) for the entire weekend, and the 125-mile drive to Atlantic City would be my first “long” driving trip.

Greg and I were to have our own room. His parents had other things to do, so we would be essentially on our own. We were young; we had “wheels” and big plans. We would walk the boardwalk, maybe even take a ride to nearby Wildwood, hang out, and, if we were lucky, we might even meet some girls. We had the world by the ass.

As we drove south on the Garden State Parkway, we talked the talk of teenagers. We had been friends for many years, and we even previously had girlfriends who were neighbors on the other side of town. We had the radio in the Bel-Air cranked up as we cruised down the Parkway. The world was perfect.

About 40 or 50 miles into the trip came the bulletin. A newsman broke into the middle of a song to say, “We have this word from Dallas Texas. The President’s motorcade has been fired upon. At this time, we do not know whether the President has been hit.”

As I recall, at the conclusion of the bulletin, the station actually resumed regular broadcasting. I believe that my reaction at that time was no more sophisticated than “Holy shit. Imagine that? Some jerk took a shot at the motorcade.”

Neither of us entertained the possibility that the President could have been shot. We convinced ourselves that the President escaped injury and that the cops would soon catch the jerk who fired the shot.

However, a moment or two later, there was another bulletin. “We can now confirm that the President has been shot and is being taken to a nearby hospital.”

From that point on, regular programming was suspended, and the radio reporters breathlessly repeated the same information, and asked each other the questions we were asking ourselves. “Was Mrs. Kennedy shot? What is the President’s condition?”

I continued to drive south, but now neither of us spoke. We just listened, worried, and clung to the hope that the President was just wounded. After all, that’s always the way in was in the movies. When the good guy got shot, he was always only wounded.

The action had now moved to Parkland hospital, and the on-the-scene radio reporters were interviewing people who identified themselves as eyewitnesses and others who were there simply there to express concern. Most everyone was crying.

We continued to listen in silence until we were fairly close to Atlantic City, at which time the word finally came.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we can now confirm that the President died at (the exact time was given). President Kennedy is dead.”

As I recall, my reaction was one of absolutely stunned disbelief. Greg’s was the same. We probably shared a couple, “Jesus Christs,” but not much more than that.

When we arrived at the hotel, the lobby was packed with guests and people from the street watching a single black and white television (there were no in-room televisions then) to follow the horrible story.

We found Greg’s parents. His dad was stoic, but his step-mom was crying. Lots of people were crying.

We checked into our room, and decided to take a walk. It was the first and only time in my life that I saw newsboys selling papers and shouting the headlines, much like one sees in the movies. “EXTRA, EXTRA, President Kennedy killed in Dallas.” I have since learned that newspapers all over the country had published “Extra” editions in an effort to keep up with the real-time news that was on the television and radio.

Believe it or not, one newsboy, apparently with a warped sense of humor, was shouting, “Extra, Extra, Kennedy dead. Jackie marries Lyndon.” Greg and I both hollered at the guy, calling him a “fucking asshole.” Others did the same.

The following day is lost to me now. I know that the “wheels” remained parked, and we stayed close to the hotel, keeping an eye on the news, including the stories about the Dallas Police having apprehended the alleged shooter – some rodent-like, little guy with three names. Our big plans seemed silly to us then, and, besides, Atlantic City was not “open” for fun that Saturday. The city was pretty much “closed.” Everyone was home watching television.

Sunday morning, it was time to go home. We loaded our stuff into the Bel-Air and headed north on the Garden State Parkway. We didn’t talk much, other than to speculate that there would be no school on the following day. We just listened to the radio.

About twenty miles from home, we were again stunned: The newsman said, “We have just learned that Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot, and that he is being taken to Parkland Hospital. I repeat. Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot.” This was followed by the recording of the actual shooting and the chaos that followed.

At this point, I just wanted to be home.

My first “long” driving trip had turned out to be the most memorable one I am likely ever to have, for on Friday, as we headed south on the Parkway, the President was killed, and on Sunday, as the northbound Parkway miles slid by, the man who was accused of killing the President was himself gunned down.

And I heard it all on the radio.

November 21, 2003

Holy Crap! Super G’s Hotel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:54 pm

Holy Crap! Super G’s Hotel was One of those Rocketed.
Super G at Babel On! reports on the rockets that hit the Sheraton in Baghdad, the place where he has been hanging his hat these days. He’s also posted some interesting photos, including one of a donkey cart rocket-launching platform, obviously a weapon of ass destruction. (I couldn’t resist).

Start here with the donkey cart post and scroll down through the November 21 posts for others dealing with the attack and its aftermath and for a few laughs along the way.

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